According to legend, Stickybeard was the most sweet-toothed pirate who ever existed. He spent years raiding and pillaging sweetshops, and, so they say, he buried the greatest hoard of treasure any child could imagine, in some forgotten place. So when Tony and his friends found a strange old wooden chest, along with what seemed to be a treasure map for children, they were understandably excited. They readied themselves for the Great Stickybeard Treasure Hunt.
Off they went, and, following clues from the map, they arrived at a dark cave next to a lake. There they found another, smaller, chest. In it they found a few sweets, a big sign containing just the letter D, and another map with further instructions for finding the treasure. This helped the children get over the initial disappointment of realising they hadn't yet found the great treasure of Stickybeard. Tony and his friends took several days to decode the map, and had to consult quite a few books to manage it. It led them to a great big hollow tree, where, again, they found another chest containing some sweets, a new map, and a big letter O written on a piece of paper. And so they carried on, finding two similar chests with some sweets and the letters C and B. However, the last map they found was really strange. Rather than a map, it seemed more like a list of incomprehensible instructions.
"You have the treasure in your mind,
It's something that you'll need to find,
A portrait painting once was done,
In which you see your granny's son,
And then I really think you ought to,
Place it by your granny's daughter,
Then you need to add the letters,
Collected by you letter getters,
The secret will then be revealed,
That secret for so long concealed,
The one that brings your dreams much nearer,
The way to achieve them made much clearer."
They spent a long time arguing about the meaning of this puzzle, and the only thing they could agree on was that the riddle was talking about some paintings of a couple of parents. The rest remained a mystery. The discussions went on until, one day, they were talking about it in Tony's living room, staring quizzically at the letters they had collected. Alex, one of Tony's friends, looked at the portrait of Tony's parents on the table, and suddenly he jumped up:
"I've got it!"
Everyone looked at him, quizzically, but instead of speaking, Alex went to the table. He rearranged the pieces of paper with the letters on them.
“Hey, Tony,” said Alex, “Stickybeard was a Spanish pirate, wasn’t he?”
“Yeah, he was….. And?”
“Well, my mother is Spanish, and here’s how they say those letters in Spanish…” everyone was looking at Alex with confused expressions, “Oh – Bay – Day – Say!”
“What?” asked Tony
“In Spanish when you say the letters O,B,D, C it sounds like Oh-Bay-Day-Say… and that’s the word ‘obedece’, which is Spanish for ‘obey’. What Stickybeard was trying to say in his own language was ‘Obey your parents’!”
“Obey your parents!” everyone shouted.
And even though there was no treasure chest filled with thousands of sweets, they were all willing to follow that great piece of advice. How could they not do so, when it came from someone like the famous Stickybeard?